Review: The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala

Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala

The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy #2)
Swati Teerdhala
Katherine Tegen Books
Published May 26, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About The Archer at Dawn

The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court.

Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne.

But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.

The Archer at Dawn on Goodreads

My Review

I’ve recently reached that point in blogging where I sometimes get books in the mail from a publicist that I didn’t request for review. It’s a two-edged sword. Sometimes I’m like, OMG! I really wanted this book! And other times it’s like, hmmm… this doesn’t look like a good fit for my blog.

In this case, when I opened the package containing THE ARCHER AT DAWN, I was super excited. I had borrowed A TIGER AT MIDNIGHT from the library, and was just about to start reading it, so I loved knowing I could jump from book one almost straight into book two of the series.

THE ARCHER AT DAWN pretty much picks up where A TIGER AT MIDNIGHT leaves off, with Esha and Kunal in the process of infiltrating the usurper king’s court, chasing down rumors that he’s captured Princess Reha and hoping to free her.

One of the things I loved about the first book is the way Esha’s team is like a family, teasing and looking after one another. In this book, we get to see more of Kunal’s friendship with Alok, too, which I loved. It also shows Kunal beginning to realize how oblivious to his friends he was before now. So it definitely showed his growth as a character.

A lot of time is devoted to looking around and talking to various potential allies and trying to charm enemies, but overall, the story keeps a fairly strong pace, driving toward the moment when Esha and Kunal will attempt to rescue the princess.

No spoilers, but let me just say that the ending was pretty intense. Some things that happened I suspected were coming, other things took me by surprise.

All in all, I enjoyed reading THE ARCHER AT DAWN and can’t wait to get my hands on the third book!

I recommend reading the first book in this series before starting this one. There are a lot of characters and relationships already set in motion by the time this book begins, so I think it would be difficult to start with book two.

The Archer at Dawn on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Representation
Written with inspiration from Indian history and Hindu mythology.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Profanity used very rarely.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl and pretty fierce romantic tension. Esha meets a girl who is running away to be with her lover, another girl.

Spiritual Content
A Samyad woman and a Himyan man must both make a sacrifice to renew the janma bond with the land, a bond between humans and deities which keeps the land fertile and growing. Since the disruption of the bond, the land is drying out and people are starving.

Some characters have the ability to shift into animal forms.

Violent Content
Battle violence and situations of peril.

Kunal enters a contest which requires him to duel opponents. Some scenes show battles between Esha/her allies and soldiers.

Drug Content
Some references to drinking alcohol.

Note: I received a free copy of THE ARCHER AT DAWN in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

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